back to top

Your innovation strategy should articulate the gap between your company’s strategic objectives, the necessary initiatives to achieve those objectives, and the capabilities you have (and the ones you need) to develop and launch those initiatives.

Such a gap analysis can range from a relatively simple napkin exercise to a more formal and extensive planning process.

At its core, crafting an innovation strategy involves four steps:

  1. Define your firm’s overall strategic growth targets;
  2. Identify those targets that depend on innovation;
  3. Define the top 3-5 projects underway (or not) in your company that can meet those targets; and
  4. Determine and build the capabilities required for each priority project.

Whether it’s on a napkin or a whiteboard, alone or in committee, the ultimate objective is to focus your company’s resources on a small set of projects with the right objectives and capabilities to be successful.


Without strategic management, R&D and NPD investments and efforts often go undervalued—failing to either inform or follow corporate strategic priorities.

We work with you to develop and drive strategically meaningful projects within your Research & Development labs. This means building a portfolio management process for aligning investments with strategic priorities, including a tranched investment model focused on reducing uncertainties and building commitments around specific initiatives.

Further, our innovation academies can help build the capacity among your engineers and scientists on the front lines to recognize and exploit strategic opportunities where and when it matters most.

The key questions guiding this process are:

  • How many innovation initiatives are underway in your organization today?
  • Which of those initiatives are aligned with your overall strategy? Which have the potential to change that strategy?
  • What are the potential returns (in overall revenue, earnings, market share, or other contribution) for each initiative?
  • What resources does each initiative require to be successful?

Network innovations disrupt markets by integrating products and services across multiple players—think Edison’s original utility model of electric lighting, Apple’s iOS ecosystem, Google’s advertising platform, and Uber’s ride service. Such innovations drive top-line growth, by tapping undervalued relationships, and long-term competitive advantage, by creating lock-in for both consumers and producers.

At Fido, we help you leverage the power of the network. Our Netstorming process helps you map out what your network looks like now and imagine what it could be in the future. But equally important is the capability of building on that vision. That requires Nexus Work, strategic yet highly tactical activities involved in envisioning, constructing and evolving these new network elements and connections.


Every innovation started out as a fledgling venture—as a startup or inside an established company. At Fido, we’ve been entrepreneurs, investors, and executives; indeed, we’ve built our share of new businesses.

As a result, we often work with new ventures for both our larger clients and smaller, emerging growth companies.

From designing and validating your business model to building the right network around it, we can help you recognize opportunities and uncertainties alike and move forward with clarity and confidence. And with our broad network, we can help you identify and connect to the key resources you’ll need, when you need them.


Joe DiNunzio


Joe has nearly three decades of creative, technical, and business leadership creating new ventures and building successful organizations. He has extensive experience as a management consulting practice leader, a Fortune 100 senior operating executive, and a start-up founding CEO.

Joe’s prior entrepreneurial experience includes Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of 42 Entertainment, the leading creator of experiences that seamlessly integrate online, mobile, and physical world narrative content with user communities; founding CEO of Z.com, a venture-backed digital media studio and network; SVP of New Product Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he led the global development of theme park concepts and digital media initiatives, and built the company’s first digital theme park, DisneyQuest; Principal with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, where he led client engagements in marketing, operations, and organization; and in brand management at Procter & Gamble.

Joe is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. He is also an Assistant Professor in Management at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, where he leads the IMPACT Consulting program for the second year MBA students.

Joe has an AB (Psychology) from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.


Steve Lewis

Senior Partner

Steve has spent three decades helping build successful operations- and technology-intensive companies. He sits on the Procter & Gamble’s External Board for Supply Innovation and has been a board member of several public and private technologies companies including Push Technologies, Divergent, Axcient, Borland, and PC Helps.

Steve has founded and built three category defining, sector leading companies. He was the Founder and CEO of Teneros, where he created the category of Application Continuity Appliances for ending email downtime. He was previously the CEO of All Covered which under his leadership, grew from a single office to the largest outsourced IT provider to U.S. Small Business. Prior to founding All Covered, Mr. Lewis was a partner and managing director of Generation Ventures, a venture firm focused on China. While at Generation Ventures, he co-founded both Guangzhou HuaMei Telecommunications, China's first broadband telecommunications company, and Pharmanex, today the world’s leading phyto-pharmaceutical company.

Earlier in his career, Steve spent a decade with the consulting firm of Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he was a Partner, assisting top executives of the Global 1000 gain competitive advantages through technology and global operations.

Steve holds a B.A. in Economics, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, and an MBA, all from Stanford University.


Andrew Hargadon

Senior Partner

Andy provides counsel on innovation and entrepreneurship to clients across a wide variety of product- and service-oriented businesses, including industry leaders in consumer and packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, and food products.

Andy is the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship, Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis, where he focuses on the effective management of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies. He has written extensively on knowledge and technology brokering and the role of learning and knowledge management in innovation and has published numerous articles and chapters in leading scholarly and applied publications. He is the author of How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate and Sustainable Innovation.

Andy worked as a product designer at Apple Computer and taught in the Product Design program at Stanford University.

Andy received his doctoral degree from the Management Science and Engineering Department in Stanford University’s School of Engineering, where he was named Boeing Fellow and Sloan Foundation Future Professor of Manufacturing. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University’s Product Design Program in the Mechanical Engineering Department.


Kyle Hanley


Kyle has an extensive background in both site-based and digital media both on the client side and as a consultant.

Kyle is a Show Producer with NBC Universal Media, LLC; he was the Senior Producer of Madden NFL Football at EA Sports, where he was also a Senior Producer for EA SPORTS Online; he was the Director, Operations and Planning at Z.com Inc., the first digital media studio; and a Manager of Product Development and Site Openings at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Kyle has run his own consultancy, Sand Lake Advisory Group and Sand Lake Media Services, Inc. and work for Forward Square Software; and started his career as a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting, Inc.

Kyle holds a BS, Operations Research/Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Carl Nichols

Consulting Partner

Carl has more than 25 years of management experience, having held executive positions in strategic planning, finance, venture capital, operations, and business development with high growth, private firms as well as established industry leaders. Having helped launch and grow numerous new technology-enabled ventures, Carl brings extensive experience in formulating strategies and defining compelling offerings as well as translating these into successful market efforts that enable businesses to profitably scale.

Carl has served as a guest lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business, University of California’s Haas School, and Brown University.

Carl received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science magna cum laude with Honors from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard's Graduate School of Business.


Jordan Weisman

Consulting Partner

Jordan provides creative concept, consumer engagement, and product strategy counsel to clients in the entertainment and media sectors.

Jordan has been the creative and motivating force behind the founding and success of numerous entertainment companies, including Harebrained Schemes (mobile and hybrid gaming Apps), Smith & Tinker (gaming toys), FASA Corporation (role playing games), Virtual World Entertainment (the world’s first public networked virtual reality entertainment centers) acquired by the Disney Family in 1992, FASA Interactive (PC games, including the MechWarrior franchise) acquired by Microsoft in 1999, WizKids (collectible games, including HeroClix) acquired by Topps Inc. in 2003, and 42 Entertainment (alternate reality gaming “ARG”).
During his career, Jordan has created some of the largest and longest-lasting franchises in the gaming industry, including BattleTech/MechWarrior, Shadowrun, and Crimson Skies. He has won more than one hundred awards, including election to the game designer’s hall of fame by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design, and in 2003 was selected as the Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.

Jordan also serves as an adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.


John Ziffren

Consulting Partner

John Ziffren focuses on developing innovative content and world class operations for clients in the entertainment industry.

John has been involved with the production of nearly one thousand episodes of prime time programming. Included in John’s many credits is The Larry Sanders Show for which he received six Cable Ace awards, five Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award. In addition to his television experience, John served as Vice President of Production for Z.com, an Internet entertainment company. Under his supervision, Z.com produced over sixty interactive series covering a full spectrum of program types and production styles.

Since 1976, John has been involved with numerous television pilots and series including Greek, The Middleman, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, The Golden Girls, Married to the Kellys, Inside Schwartz, Hart to Hart, Family, True Believer, Houston Knights, Paper Dolls, and the critically acclaimed movie of the week Alex: The Life of a Child. In addition, John supervised the production of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment television programs including NewsRadio, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, The Naked Truth, Just Shoot Me and many more. Since 2007, he has been affiliated with ABC Family where he serves as Executive Producer on multiple pilots and series.

John has been very involved in the entertainment industry as well as community activities. As a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, he was elected four times to the Board of Governors and served four terms as the Chairman of the National Awards Committee, served on the Producers Peer Group Executive Committee, the TEC Council and participated in the formation of the Interactive Media Peer Group. John also is a member of the Producers Guild of America where he participates on multiple committees.

John attended the Film School of the University of Southern California.


Jordan (Jory) Macdonald


Jory has an extensive background in strategy and innovation both on the client side and as a consultant.

Jory was the Manager of Market Analytics for Logitech; he was a Principal at MC[CO] Labs, a strategic advisory boutique that specializes in structuring, valuing and strategically supporting the execution of transformative ideas and opportunities in marketing and media & entertainment; he cofounded SlideWare Studios; and has held product management, business development, engineering and design roles at multiple Silicon Valley companies.

Jory holds an MBA, from University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University


Dave Knox

Consulting Partner

As a brand marketer, venture investor, and startup advisor, Dave Knox bridges the worlds of the Fortune 500 and entrepreneurship. The intersection of these two worlds is the subject of his book, Predicting The Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips, which was named the Grand Prix winner of the 2017 Atticus Award. Dave is the former Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish, a widely recognized digital innovation agency that was acquired by WPP, where he also served as the Managing Director for WPP Ventures. Prior to Rockfish, Knox was a seven-year veteran of Procter & Gamble, where he was instrumental in the digital turnaround that led to P&G being named to AdAge’s Digital A-List.

Dave was named to the iMedia 25 Class of Digital Innovators, by Cincinnati Business Courier as the CMO of the Year in the inaugural C-Suite Awards, and as a 40 Under 40 by both AdAge and the P&G Alumni Network. Dave is a frequent keynote on digital innovation and disruption, including appearances at SXSW, TEDx, Back End of Innovation, NRFtech, Brand Innovators, AdTech NYC, and the iMedia Summit.

He is the co-founder of The Brandery – one of the top 10 startup accelerators in the country. Dave is also a Managing Partner in the seed fund Vine St Ventures, and an advisor to Bullpen Capital, Glasswing Ventures, and Hyde Park Venture Partners. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Cincinnati Mercantile Library, Main St Ventures, and the VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, VA. Dave holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Miami University, where is also the co-founder of the Cradle of Marketers.


Troy Hoddick


Troy has a background in industry research and data driven analysis with a special interest in eSports and upcoming technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Troy worked for Barco N.V. in their Entertainment and Corporate division specializing in channel analysis, competitor research, and R&D strategy.

Since joining Fido in 2017, Troy has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from Seed level startups in Biotech to Fortune 100 companies.

Troy holds a Bachelor of Science, Management and Organizations from The Stern School of Business at New York University


Innovation is a word so overused as to be almost meaningless…except that its impacts can change a company’s fortunes for better or worse. While leadership often calls for more innovation, few companies have enough insight into their own processes to manage its dysfunctions.

At Fido, we consistently find that 50-80% of the discretionary spend on innovation fails to drive meaningful revenue, much less an attractive ROI, but nobody knows what part of the spend that is. The challenge is first understanding and then effectively guiding the innovation process.

We believe that innovation can be disciplined, directed, and focused to achieve a company’s strategic objectives. “Innovation” in our vernacular is the greatest lever to drive disproportionate growth AND disproportionate EBITDA.

Where to start?

We believe that a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of the elements that bring success in innovation can quickly and clearly provide the prescription for optimizing innovation and yield tremendous short and long-term financial benefits in the process.

Fido has developed an innovation assessment tool, the Triple Helix Model of InnovationTM Assessment, which focuses on optimizing three critical levers of the P&L:

• Top-line growth

• Innovation (aka R&D/Engineering) spend broadly

• Innovation-related cash flow, profitability, and company valuation

Fido’s methodology focuses on identifying misalignments between a firm’s innovation strategy and the three core processes for driving effective innovation, using our proprietary extensive assessment to develop an accurate evaluation and focused improvements. In combination with industry metrics, Fido’s tested approaches consistently secure rapid and lasting improvement.

Download our information packet now to learn more about assessing and managing the innovation process.

© Copyright 2023 Fido Management, LLC. All Rights Reserved.